With regard to cleaning and disinfection, products must be selected and used by competent and qualified professionals, applying safety procedures and instructions to ensure the expected effectiveness and safety of personnel, implementing applicable general or more specific regulations and standards, such as EU Regulation 528/2012 on biocidal products.
PREPARATION FOR CLEANING THE VENTILATED RACK
- The frequency of cleaning and disinfection of the racks must be adapted to local requirements and specificities but is recommended at least every 6 months.
- Wearing all required PPE (personal protective equipment) is essential (work clothing, eye protection, breathing masks, gloves, work shoes, etc.).
- Cleaning and disinfection operations must be carried out in an appropriate environment, both for the safety of personnel and to control the risk of cross-contamination.
- Disinfection is only effective on perfectly clean equipment, i.e. equipment that has been cleaned (with the appropriate product(s) and technique), rinsed and then dried.
To avoid damage to stainless steel and plastic components, it is imperative to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the following recommendations:
- Avoid contact with products containing chlorine (bleach, sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid, etc.).
- Do not use nitric acid.
- Do not use steel wool or other ferrous materials on stainless steel surfaces.
MANUAL CLEANING PROCEDURE OF THE RACK
- Remove all cages from the rack. Disconnect and remove the blowers from the racks (do not wash blowers with water).
- Use a small swab to brush the inside of all nozzles in the extraction plenum (nozzles in contact with the cage top).
- Remove the silicone caps at both ends of the horizontal exhaust plenums. No tools are required to remove them. They remain fixed on the rack so as not to be lost.
- Manually clean the horizontal exhaust plenums with the large swab.
- After unlocking the vertical plenum closure systems, open the main door (vertical) and the small bottom door at the lower level (floor) of each main plenum (supply and exhaust). No tools are required.
- Remove the pre-filters, clean and dry them according to the instructions and replace them before disinfection. If necessary, replace the pre-filters with new ones. HEPA filters at the end of their service life are replaced in a timely manner, as indicated by the airflow control system (typically every 3 to 5 years) by Allentown Technical Services personnel during periodic maintenance operations. Their watertight assembly is then checked for efficiency. As a reminder, it is critical to check and wash the rack ventilation pre-filters every two weeks, especially the exhaust airflow.
- If the rack is equipped with an automatic watering system, open it and empty all the pipes.
- If the rack is used with a tower blower, a horizontal plenum is positioned at the top of the unit. Remove the grey plastic plugs from this horizontal extraction duct and clean the inside. Use a clean damp cloth or a suitable professional vacuum cleaner (with HEPA filtration of the exhaust air) with a suitable nozzle.
- Clean the rack according to your needs using a cleaning product adapted to the type of dirt and stainless steel surfaces. The rack must then be rinsed thoroughly and thoroughly with clean water, and dried.
MECHANICAL CLEANING PROCEDURE FOR THE RACK
- Prepare the rack for washing in a rack washer: follow steps 1 to 7 of the manual cleaning procedure.
- Place the rack in a suitable rack washer and start the washing cycle according to your operating procedures. Some rack-washers are equipped with devices suitable for cleaning IVC racks: they should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Reminder: do not use chlorinated products.
- The elements to be disinfected must be completely dry.
- Check the correct positioning and integrity of the vertical plenum door, seals before closing it, and take corrective action if necessary before putting back the rack into service.
- Close the small bottom door of the vertical plenums.
- Where appropriate, the cages (including all components) are washed and disinfected independently, and are positioned on the rack or stored separately.
- The pre-filters on the cage tops are replaced every 12 to 18 months.